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South Sea Bubble

(Brit, history) the financial crash that occurred in 1720 after the South Sea Company had taken over the national debt in return for a monopoly of trade with the South Seas, causing feverish speculation in their stocks
Word Origin
so named because the rapid expansion and sudden collapse of investment resembled the blowing up and bursting of a bubble
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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